County begins 2020 construction season
Hennepin County is in its 2020 transportation construction season. During the year, the county will deliver on several projects designed to get residents around safely and efficiently.
As we work on projects, we are following all Minnesota Department of Health and Hennepin County guidelines.
We are also looking at how we can accelerate or reorder work. Where possible, we are taking advantage of the lighter traffic. However, projects need time to be finalized and be bid. And, they have to be coordinated with other projects, including those by Minnesota Department of Transportation, municipalities and utility companies. The best resource for staying up to date on projects is www.hennepin.us.
Even with lighter traffic, we remind people to allow for extra time and to slow down when traveling past construction sites and county crews.
Season begins with continuing projects
Earlier this year, crews returned to Bottineau Boulevard (County Road 81) in Brooklyn Park. This project is designed to make the road safer for all users, provide better traffic flow and reduce congestion and delays. Last year, crews worked south of the Brooklyn Boulevard (County Road 130/152) intersection. This year crews are working on the intersection and the northern segment of the work area. By the end of the year, the major components should be complete – which includes new through lanes and dedicated turn lanes, new sidewalks, new curbs and new traffic signals. Utilities will be replaced and new stormwater systems will be installed. And, the Crystal Lake Regional Trail will be extended.
Crews will also continue work on the reconstruction of the Fremont Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis. Last year the focus was largely on the demolition of the old bridge and replacement of a city watermain. This year, crews expect to complete the construction of the new bridge that spans the Midtown Greenway. In addition to a brand new deck for people driving, biking and rolling, there will be wider sidewalks for people walking on the bridge and better accessibility.
The county will be finishing up Flying Cloud Drive (County Road 61) in Eden Prairie and Chanhassen. Most of the road work is complete but crews still need to add a multi-use trail along the north side of the road that will fill a gap in the trail network from Shakopee to Eden Prairie.
One of the areas where people will see construction crews being most active on county roads is around the Lake Minnetonka area. The county is trying to coordinate all these efforts as much as possible.
The first of these projects to get underway this year will be at the intersection of Shoreline Drive (County Road 15) and Shadywood Road (County Road 19) in Orono. This work will help with safety issues at the intersection and improve the experience for people walking and driving through the area. Utilities and curbs and gutters will be replaced as well.
In June, reconstruction of the Narrows Bridge in Orono and Tonka Bay will begin. The bridge, which carries County Road 19 over the Narrows Channel in Lake Minnetonka, will get a new bridge deck and other structural elements will be repaired or replaced. This will require a closure of the bridge during the summer. This project should extend the life of this bridge another 40 years and reduce overall maintenance needs.
Further west on County Road 15 in Minnetrista, the county will make drainage improvements and repave the road between Market Avenue/Dalchow Road and Westedge Boulevard. This project requires nine culvert replacements. Once the culverts are replaced, crews will repave County Road 15. Instead of a traditional mill and overlay, crews will use a method called full-depth reclamation that involves removing and grinding up layers of asphalt down to the gravel layer and recycling them with new asphalt.
The county also anticipates beginning work on West Broadway Bridges (County Road 81) in Minneapolis and Robbinsdale.
More notable activities
During the year, county crews will also be working on several other projects, including:
Other major construction projects on county roads
The county is also a partner in two larger regional projects, Minnesota Department of Transportation's 35W@94 reconstruction project, which includes reconstruction of Lake Street (County Road 3) between Blaisdell and Fifth avenues, and the Metropolitan Council’s Southwest LRT (METRO Green Line extension) project.
Crews from cities, MnDOT and utilities will also be working on some of our county roads this season, in collaboration with the county.
And, in the next few weeks, crews will begin smaller-scale road and bridge projects including safety improvements, road repaving, restriping and pavement sealing projects, as well as bridge maintenance activities. More information about these projects can be found at www.hennepin.us/roadmaintenance and the 2020 map of construction activities.
Additional projects may be announced during the construction year.
How to stay informed
Find out more information about 2020 county road and bridge projects and activities — and how to stay informed — at www.hennepin.us/residents#transportation